Payer Roundup—North Carolina pays out $6B in Medicaid contracts

FierceHealthcare | February 06, 2019

North Carolina officials have reached agreements with five insurers to offer Medicaid managed care in the state, with the deals totaling $6 billion. The insurers—AmeriHealth Caritas, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, UnitedHealthcare, WellCare and Carolina Complete Health, a consortium of Centene Corp. and state provider groups—will be paid a flat fee per beneficiary per month and can share in profits if costs are kept low but will face a loss if costs run over. It’s the largest amount ever spent by the state’s Department of Health and Human Services. The updated Medicaid program will be rolled out in geographical phases. North Carolina also rejected a proposal from the state’s 12 largest health systems to run its Medicaid program, much to the frustration of patient advocates. “I was very surprised that the hospitals’ bid was rejected, and that two plans that have no real North Carolina experience and bad track records in other states were accepted instead,” said Douglas Sea, senior attorney at the Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy.

Spotlight

The fitness craze aside, wearable tech has opened up a whole new diagnostic world for health care providers and researchers. These amazing products are part of a new category of medical devices and are capable of monitoring several types of bodily systems and functions in real time. Better yet, this data can be transmitted via wireless networks and mobile phone technology to cloud storage facilities for diagnostic purposes.


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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Johnson & Johnson Opens State-of-the-Art Science and Technology Campus in San Francisco Bay Area

Johnson & Johnson | September 21, 2022

Johnson & Johnson opened its San Francisco Bay Campus, a state-of-the-art Research & Development facility in the Bay Area, one of the world’s most established global hubs for innovation and entrepreneurship. The nearly 200,000 square-foot facility will house up to 400 employees, more than doubling the R&D presence of Johnson & Johnson in the Bay Area. The campus bridges key scientific and technological capabilities by co-locating Janssen R&D, Johnson & Johnson Innovation and Johnson & Johnson Technology. It will further integrate the Company into the Bay Area innovation ecosystem to strengthen and increase collaborations with innovators to accelerate growth. “Johnson & Johnson’s expanded presence in the Bay Area affirms our commitment to combining science and technology to deliver transformative healthcare solutions. On this campus, our talented teams will use their diverse experience and expertise to tackle society’s greatest health challenges to create a better future for patients.” Joaquin Duato, Chief Executive Officer, Johnson & Johnson The R&D focus at the new site spans Janssen’s therapeutic areas and key functions, including emerging science and technologies for gene and RNA therapies, novel treatments and approaches for retinal and infectious diseases, and advanced data science, including artificial intelligence and machine learning. Co-locating expertise at the site will enable the expansion of the Company’s world-class discovery engine and industry-leading pipeline. “Our new state-of-the-art science facility in the Bay Area will further strengthen our R&D capabilities and transform how we discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines faster and more efficiently. By integrating drug discovery, data science and digital health, we aim to accelerate the growth of our best-in-class portfolio and deliver better health outcomes for people worldwide,” said James Merson, Ph.D., Site Head, San Francisco Bay Campus and Global Therapeutic Area Head, Infectious Diseases, Janssen Research & Development, LLC. The Johnson & Johnson Innovation Center in California has facilitated investments and collaborations to accelerate early-stage healthcare innovation with academic and industry partners in the Bay Area and greater California ecosystem since 2014. The San Francisco Bay Campus, along with the Company’s JLABS @ South San Francisco, will continue to enable the Company to build strong relationships with entrepreneurs, scientists and investors to support and invest in highly differentiated innovations that extend and improve lives everywhere. Additionally, given the convergence of healthcare and technology in the region, the Company will increase its focus on the Johnson & Johnson Technology organization to enhance its ability to create innovative digital solutions to advance human health. Building on Johnson & Johnson’s long-standing commitment to use its expertise and resources to reduce the environmental footprint of its operations, the Bay Area hub is designed as a high-performance green campus, reinforcing the Company’s pledge to be responsible stewards in creating a healthy, more sustainable future. The aim is for the new site to receive Silver Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certification, the most widely used green building rating system in the world. About Johnson & Johnson At Johnson & Johnson, we believe good health is the foundation of vibrant lives, thriving communities and forward progress. That’s why for more than 135 years, we have aimed to keep people well at every age and every stage of life. Today, as the world’s largest and most broadly-based healthcare company, we are committed to using our reach and size for good. We strive to improve access and affordability, create healthier communities, and put a healthy mind, body and environment within reach of everyone, everywhere. We are blending our heart, science and ingenuity to profoundly change the trajectory of health for humanity. About the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson At Janssen, we're creating a future where disease is a thing of the past. We're the Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, working tirelessly to make that future a reality for patients everywhere by fighting sickness with science, improving access with ingenuity, and healing hopelessness with heart. We focus on areas of medicine where we can make the biggest difference: Cardiovascular, Metabolism & Retina; Immunology; Infectious Diseases & Vaccines; Neuroscience; Oncology; and Pulmonary Hypertension. Learn more at www.janssen.com. Follow us at @JanssenGlobal. Janssen Research & Development, LLC is part of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. About Johnson & Johnson Innovation Johnson & Johnson Innovation LLC works across the pharmaceutical, medical device and consumer health sectors to accelerate early-stage, transformational solutions by catalyzing the best ideas, wherever they are in the world. We do this by harnessing our deep scientific capabilities coupled with a wide range of tools, including customized deal structures, company creation, incubation and startup services, capital investments and other innovative business models that aim to meet the diverse needs of entrepreneurs, scientists, and emerging companies. Our goal is to help life science and health technology innovations thrive through collaboration and partnership with the global ecosystem, so that together we can change the trajectory of human health. About Johnson & Johnson Technology Johnson & Johnson Technology solves big problems in healthcare through technology and digital innovation. Just as doctors use scalpels, we use data science, algorithms, artificial intelligence, robotics, and other digital solutions to transform patients’ lives. From guiding patients through treatment to accelerating vaccine development to enabling employees to work seamlessly from any location, our digital tools infuse our products with novelty, dexterity, and ease.

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FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE

Radius XR™ Named as the CES 2023 Innovation Award Honoree for Wearable Device That Combines Therapy and Diagnostic Capabilities

Radius XR | November 17, 2022

Today at the CES Unveiled New York event, Radius XR™, a new fashion-forward wearable healthcare technology brand, was named a CES® 2023 Innovation Awards Honoree in both the Digital Health and Virtual & Augmented Reality categories. Radius was selected from among a record number of submissions to this year’s CES Innovation Awards program. The announcement was made ahead of CES 2023, the influential technology event, happening Jan. 5-8 in Las Vegas, NV. Radius XR builds on the therapeutic legacy of IrisVision, a leader in digital vision technologies and itself a 2019 CES Innovation Winner. The Radius proprietary XR assistive device brings together—for the first time—multimodal diagnostics, practice management, and patient engagement. “This is a tremendous honor for our new company. It follows on the success of our IrisVision visual assistive device, which has provided a life-changing solution for thousands of individuals living with legal blindness and low-vision conditions. Radius expands on our commitment to vision health by providing the eyecare industry with an easy-to-use wearable device capable of performing standard perimetry tests. Other exams include color vision, visual acuity, contrast sensitivity—a comprehensive suite of standard vision tests. Development of additional exams is ongoing.” Radius founder and CEO Ammad Khan Radius enables patients to quickly and easily conduct vision tests with minimal guidance or intervention by the staff. The device’s RadiusExam® software and proprietary algorithms provide diagnostic testing results equivalent to current exam gold standards. “By designing our own hardware and software, we’re able to overcome many of the challenges inherent in the off-the-shelf headsets already on the market. Matching visual field strategies, background luminance, stimulus size and dynamic range allows us to mirror the current standards, making it easy and intuitive for clinicians to transition to Radius,” said John Trefethen, Radius Chief Marketing Officer. In addition, the included Business Suite helps clinicians manage everyday aspects critical to their practice's ongoing success. Features like patient education, staff training and clinician onboarding are now possible inline with the Radius platform. Radius is the industry’s lightest wearable device and has the look and feel of a pair of stylish sunglasses. The compact, lightweight design overcomes the challenges of expensive and bulky legacy devices that force patients to sit in uncomfortable positions for testing. With Radius, exams can be conducted anywhere, even in the waiting room, eliminating the need to shuttle patients between machines, which can be challenging for individuals with mobility or vision issues. The CES Innovation Awards program, owned and produced by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)®, is an annual competition honoring outstanding design and engineering in 27 consumer technology product categories. Those with the highest rating receive the “Best of Innovation” distinction. An elite panel of industry expert judges, including members of the media, designers, engineers and more, reviewed submissions based on innovation, engineering and functionality, aesthetics, and design. The CES 2023 Innovation Awards honorees, including product descriptions and photos, can be found at CES.tech/innovation. Radius will be on display at the Innovation Awards Showcase at CES 2023 in Las Vegas in January. About Radius XR The Radius XR platform is a portable vision diagnostic and patient engagement system that combines medical-grade diagnostics, business management, and patient education tools in a single wearable XR device. The RadiusExam® and proprietary algorithms provide diagnostic testing results equivalent to current exam gold standards, with the clinical science validated by Deming regression. As the algorithm presents stimuli to patients, it adapts to responses to maximize the algorithm's speed. The total hardware and software system helps medical professionals diagnose patients with accuracy, grow their eyecare practices, enhance patient engagement, and reduce staff workload by enabling patients to perform self-guided vision exams with minimal supervision.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

VBA Partners With Healthcare Bluebook to Provide Enhanced Reporting of Quality Data for Physicians and Hospitals

Healthcare Bluebook and VBA | September 09, 2022

VBA, a leading-edge healthcare technology company, has teamed up with Healthcare Bluebook to incorporate Quantros quality scores for over half a million physicians and hospitals into its VBAnalytics reporting solution. This move is just one of many exciting enhancements around quality-based care reporting planned in 2022 to make VBAnalytics the premier population health and business insight solution for healthcare payers. VBAnalytics already provides robust analysis and reporting of healthcare utilization and costs and offers insight to help payers make the necessary changes to ensure their health plans are performing effectively. “As the healthcare industry continues to strive for transparency in both cost and quality, the Quantros quality data is essential for our clients to remain competitive. Being able to benchmark their results against millions of healthcare claims from all regions of the country provides invaluable insight to manage their plan performance.” Michael Clayton, President and CEO of VBA With VBAnalytics Value-Based Care Reporting, powered by Quantros, health plans can easily combine cost and quality data to determine which providers are performing the best under their value-based care arrangements. Equipped with this information, payers can make adjustments to their provider networks to ensure that patients have access to the best providers. The Quantros quality scores include important measures of physician and hospital performance including patient safety, complications from a procedure or hospitalization, mortality, and hospital readmissions. Data is combined among multiple providers to create an episode of care, which allows for a more comprehensive view of the patient’s experience. VBA has also integrated Healthcare Bluebook’s online shopping tool within its VBAGateway member portal to make it simple for members to access cost and quality information they need with just a few clicks. “When consumers are equipped with accurate information on cost and quality, everybody wins,” said Clayton. “As consumers become more educated about their healthcare decisions, it will lead to more thoughtful choices that can have a positive ripple effect throughout the healthcare system.” Providing consumers with better information also helps to reduce the overall cost of healthcare for employers, who cover a significant portion of the healthcare costs for their employees. About VBA VBA is a leading-edge healthcare technology company providing comprehensive solutions to the insurance industry. Uniquely delivered on a secure, cloud-based platform, VBA provides a suite of technology solutions for benefits administration, user experience, customer support, business insight and more. About Healthcare Bluebook Healthcare Bluebook's purpose is to protect consumers and companies nationwide from overpriced, low-quality healthcare. Since 2007, Healthcare Bluebook has helped millions of people by making it easy for them to find high-quality care at a Fair Price™.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

VitalConnect Announces Investment from HCA Healthcare to Accelerate Commercial Growth and Create Strategic Partnership

VitalConnect, Inc. | September 13, 2022

VitalConnect®, Inc., a leader in remote and in-hospital wearable biosensor technology, announced the completion of an investment funded by Health Insight Capital, the investment arm of HCA Healthcare Inc. one of the nation’s leading healthcare providers. The investment will go toward further accelerating VitalConnect’s rapidly growing cardiac monitoring business segment while advancing key Remote Patient Monitoring of individuals who have experienced heart failure (HF), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and sepsis, among others. This funding support is expected to help VitalConnect continue bringing the most advanced technology to patients and providers. “This strategic investment from HCA Healthcare will further accelerate VitalConnect’s expansive growth and upward trajectory in the Cardiac Monitoring space. We’ve experienced unparalleled physician adoption and growth over the past 18 months since launch, and HCA Healthcare’s investment will enable us to continue bringing customers the most comprehensive remote patient monitoring platform.” Peter Van Haur, CEO, VitalConnect Founded in 2011, VitalConnect has deployed hundreds of thousands of biosensors throughout the world, including care facilities such as Brigham and Women’s, Hackensack Medical Center, Northwell Health, and John Radcliffe Hospital-Oxford University. The VitalPatch allows real-time remote or in-hospital monitoring, allowing physicians to optimize the delivery of care to their patients. About VitalConnect, Inc. VitalConnect is a leader in wearable biosensor technology for wireless patient monitoring in both hospital and remote patient populations. VitalConnect leverages extensive expertise in biomedical engineering, data analytics, chip design, and mobile and cloud software to create technology that supports decision-making paradigms that achieve better health and economic outcomes. VitalConnect’s products are designed for use in a broad range of inpatient and outpatient settings, such as hospital monitoring, post-discharge care, cardiac monitoring and pharmaceutical solutions. VitalConnect’s advanced yet easy-to-use platform, was designed to deliver better healthcare at lower costs while providing more convenience for the patients and healthcare providers.

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Spotlight

The fitness craze aside, wearable tech has opened up a whole new diagnostic world for health care providers and researchers. These amazing products are part of a new category of medical devices and are capable of monitoring several types of bodily systems and functions in real time. Better yet, this data can be transmitted via wireless networks and mobile phone technology to cloud storage facilities for diagnostic purposes.

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